Surgeon General Gets Specific

Richard H. CarmonaIn testimony before Congress, former U.S. Surgeon General Richard H. Carmona accused the Bush administration on Tuesday of muzzling him on sensitive public health issues. According to the Washington Post this makes him "the most prominent voice among several current and former federal science officials who have complained of political interference. Carmona, a Bush nominee who served from 2002 to 2006, told the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform that political appointees in the administration routinely scrubbed his speeches for politically sensitive content and blocked him from speaking out on public health matters such as stem cell research, abstinence-only sex education and the emergency contraceptive Plan B. 'Anything that doesn't fit into the political appointees' ideological, theological or political agenda is often ignored, marginalized or simply buried,' he said. 'The problem with this approach is that in public health, as in a democracy, there is nothing worse than ignoring science or marginalizing the voice of science for reasons driven by changing political winds.'"